Raining cats and dogs | Toulouse, France

It rained the proverbial cats and dogs in Toulouse, but in fact the only thing falling from the clouds was – disappointingly, although rather not surprisingly, water drops. The skies did not open up to shower us, as advertised,…

… with neither a rainfall of candy…

… nor of birds.

Now that I think about it, though, a possible explanation for my disappointment may be that I simply didn’t stand in the indicated spots long enough to witness the promised candy or birds falling from the sky. At any rate, it wouldn’t have been the first time that happened.

Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain | Montpellier, France

I came across a tourist brochure advertising Montpellier’s charms, which claimed that the region boasts, on average, a total of 340 sunny days per year.

So, it seems that I have caught exactly those 25 other days, the ones that went unmentioned, the ones tourist brochures would gloss over conveniently. Because, let’s see (making a quick calculation in my head)… yup, for just over three weeks now, the skies have been almost constantly overcast, dark and cloudy and rain has been pouring out of them pretty much incessantly.

In addition to making it hard to believe in the promises of eternal sunshine and be enraptured by the alleged charms of southern France, the constant rain and clouds also take away the pleasure of walking through autumn leaves – when they are soggy, they no longer rustle.

On a more practical level, though, constant rain makes for wet feet, causes me to miss open-air farmers’ markets, results in the interruption of the running of trams and poses a danger of flooding. (On the bright side, though, it meant that I just had to buy a cute polka-dotted raincoat from the kids’ section.)

But I am a firm believer in statistics. (That, and whatever information is advertised in tourist brochures.) So, relying on those, as well as the visible, albeit slight, opening up of the skies, it actually looks like the gloomy and wet spell is now coming to an end and the sun will finally come out. Let those 340 days of sunshine begin!

When it rains, it pours | Bodrum, Turkey

Lately, it seems that every time as I leave some place where the weather has been nothing but wonderful throughout my stay, the skies suddenly open up and all the rain and gloom that have been collecting in them during my cloudless sojourn pour out precisely as I make my way to the airport (cases in point: Barcelona in early September and now, Bodrum).

This definitely makes for a dramatic departure and adds nostalgia to the already melancholy feeling that leaving brings with it, but also – adding insult to injury on a more practical level, it means that I am stuck in damp clothes for the much of the trip that follows. But, as we all know, there is nothing like pretzeling yourself around a public toilet hand-dryer to make you forget your sadness.